Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Democrats fret while awaiting signs of how Biden will weather debate debacle

By 37ci3 Jul3,2024

WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders are nervously waiting for a new round of polls to show Joe Biden’s support has collapsed and he’s drifting into congressional races before a unified position on whether to drop out, according to interviews with lawmakers and strategists. and donors show.

Until now, the campaign team of the president has prevented mass defections a a choreographed effort to assure party officials say Biden maintains a solid path to re-election.

However, many officials and Democratic donors remain frustrated by Biden’s poor performance in last week’s debate with Donald Trump and are waiting for a more definitive signal from voters before confirming their support for Biden’s candidacy. There is a view among Democrats that Biden should mitigate the negative effects by actively demonstrating that he still has the physical and mental fitness to remain in office.

For now, Biden’s campaign is in wait-and-see mode, said a person familiar with internal discussions. The thinking in Biden’s world is that no Democratic leader will step forward and call on him to release troubling new polling data.

Money — especially the lack of it — is often what ends political campaigns. If donors give up on Biden, that could leave him with few options but to back down, the person said.

“Donors are in complete panic. . cut that check.”

Several prominent Democrats have broken ranks with Biden, calling for him to step down in favor of a younger, more inspirational candidate to lead the fight against Trump.

Delegates were Lloyd Doggett, D., Texas First sitting Democratic member of Congress Saying that Biden should step aside. In a statement Tuesday, Doggett said Biden “continues to trail Democratic senators in key states and is trailing Donald Trump in most polls. I was hoping the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It didn’t.”

In a newspaper article Tuesday, Maine, D., Rep. Jared Golden wrote that he was not surprised by Biden’s “poor” debate performance and expects Trump to win in November.

Last year, Golden accompanied Biden on a trip to Maine on Air Force One and Marine One. in time, Golden told NBC News Biden is someone who “believes in the character of the normal American people.” (Golden is one of only five House Democrats representing a district won by Trump.)

A second Democratic lawmaker said he and other lawmakers were being pressured by donors to come out publicly against Biden. “Our phones are blowing up with text messages and people are saying, ‘When are you going to go out and call him to pull over?'” the deputy said.

Another House Democrat said he was inclined to want Biden to finish his campaign, but wanted to “see the vote” first.

Amid the uncertainty, some Democrats are beginning to wonder what might happen if Biden chooses to back down.

A gap on the ticket can expose deep rifts within the party. Some Democratic leaders are lining up behind Kamala Harris, the nation’s first black vice president, while others may defend a pioneer and battleground official in her own right, like Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Rep. James Clyburn, D., S.C., the influential Democratic leader whose 2020 endorsement has revived Biden’s struggling primary campaign, revealed where he stands Tuesday in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“This party should in no way do anything to work around Ms. Harris,” Clyburn said. “Whether it’s in second place or at the top of the ticket, we have to do everything we can to step it up.”

The first of two scheduled presidential debates plunged Biden’s party into murky political territory. No president in the modern history of the office has withdrawn from a race so late in the election calendar.

Former President Lyndon Johnson came closest when he announced in March 1968 — eight months before the election — that he would not seek another term in the face of widespread opposition to the expansion of the Vietnam War. If Biden were to withdraw now, a replacement would have just four months to get on the job and campaign.

Biden campaign aides held a conference call Monday with key fundraisers asking questions that show donors are genuinely concerned. One person on the call asked what the campaign would do if new polls showed a dramatic erosion in Biden’s support.

In response, deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said “the media has spent too much time blowing this out of proportion”.

Blaming the press is a tactic used by both sides. But many Democrats say they are losing patience with the White House’s assurances that Biden is eligible and can win the election.

Some Democrats argue that senior White House staff and the campaign operation have staged Biden’s public appearances for years, peppering them with teleprompters and note cards that give a false impression of his general health.

A House Democrat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said after the debate that she didn’t want to talk to the White House because she didn’t want to “hear BS.”

One amendment to Biden’s routine, Democratic lawmakers said, would be to put him in front of voters without a protective foam cover, making his debate performance even more uncomfortable.

Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, a battleground state, said: “After last Thursday’s debate, he [Biden] must be seen. People need to see it and it needs to show people that it works.”

Rep. Ro Khanna, D., Calif., said: “He should hold town halls and small roundtables with voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia and be as visible as possible among voters.”

Only one such appearance is planned for now. Biden has agreed to an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos later this week, a forum where he can expect questions about cognitive health.

D-Va., a former staffer of Biden during his days in the Senate. Rep. Gerry Connolly said Biden should work aggressively to prove the controversy was really just a “bad night” and not indicative of something worse.

Connolly invited Biden to attend town hall events and rallies. Doing more interviews would also help, he said.

Biden has conducted 128 interviews during this phase of his presidency, the fewest by any president since Ronald Reagan, according to a study compiled by Towson State University political science professor emeritus Martha Kumar.

For two years in a row, he has declined a Super Bowl interview, preempting the chance to address the millions of viewers who want to watch the game. By way of explanation, assistants said there were followers tired of politics and preferred to watch football.

“Now you have to work harder – harder – to solve these doubts. Otherwise, it’s fatal,” Connolly said in an interview. “To convince people that it was a really bad night, you have to go out there like you’ve never done it before and thoroughly, and that was it.”

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By 37ci3

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